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India and US to go ahead with nuclear deal: Clinton

world Updated: Sep 26, 2009 22:08 IST

IANS
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The United States has reassured India that it would move forward with their landmark civil nuclear deal notwithstanding New Delhi's position that it would not sign the discriminatory Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conveyed this to External Affairs Minister SM Krishna as they met in New York on Friday to discuss the shape of their emerging strategic partnership, said Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake briefing reporters on the meeting between the two leaders.

The UN Security Council resolution this week urging all states to join the NPT did not come up at the Clinton-Krishna meeting, Blake said.

But "we've said before that the resolution that was passed on Thursday unanimously by the Security Council does not have any bearing on our bilateral civil nuclear cooperation, and that really shouldn't have any effect whatsoever.

"So we've provided reassurances to that effect to our friends in the Indian government," he said.

Clinton told Krishna that the US hoped to move forward on civil nuclear cooperation with India, but there are still some steps that have to be taken there, particularly with respect to signing liability legislation.

The Indian parliament has also to approve liability legislation for US companies and announce formally the two reactor parks that will be set aside for US companies, Blake said.

At his post G20 Summit press conference in Pittsburgh, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too said that the US has assured India of its full commitment to their civil nuclear deal and that the UN Security Council resolution on NPT is not targeted at New Delhi.

"We have been assured that this is not a resolution directed at India and that the US commitment to carry out its obligations under the civil nuclear agreements that we have signed with the United States remains undiluted, that we have been assured officially by the United States government," he said.

On Iran, Blake said Clinton made no request to Krishna about cutting trade or relationship.

But "we have had very good dialogue in the past with India on nuclear issues and specifically with reference to Iran's nuclear ambitions, where I think Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has repeatedly made clear that they don't believe it is in India's interest to have another nuclear weapons state in the region," he said.